Man charged for DUI crash that left UHP trooper with vision loss

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SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4) – A 21-year-old man Herriman man has been charged after crashing into a Utah Highway Patrol vehicle back in August.

The crash happened near 2800 South at I-215 SB in Salt Lake County. A UHP trooper was investigating a parked vehicle along the highway when the suspect drove off the road and onto the shoulder, striking the patrol car from behind. The impact forced the patrol car to rotate and strike the parked vehicle, pushing it about 70 feet before it came to a stop, according to charging documents.

The sergeant was transported to the hospital with a serious eye injury. The suspect was airlifted to a local hospital with severe head trauma. The sergeant suffered injury from numerous pieces of glass in his right eye, along with a corneal abrasion, a lacerated eyelid, whiplash in his neck and back, internal bleeding in his groin, and facial lacerations, charging documents show.

The UHP trooper required eye surgery and stitches along with back, knee, and eye pain and has reported loss of vision in his right eye.

Two other passengers were riding in the suspect’s car at the time of the crash. One was transported to a local hospital with minor injuries and the other was hospitalized with broken ribs.

Police discovered two empty beer cans and rolling papers in the suspect’s vehicle. One of the passengers says they were at a party right before the crash happened, according to charging documents.

Authorities issued a warrant for a blood alcohol level test. The test came back positive for a blood alcohol content over the legal limit along with positive results of THC, 11-hydroxy THC (a more concentrated form of THC), and THC-COOH.

The suspect has been charged with driving under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs as a third-degree felony, two counts of DUI as a Class A misdemeanor, and one count of failure to stay in one lane.

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